SpaceX rocket carrying Facebook’s satellite has exploded

In a Question and Answer session held in Lagos, Nigeria yesterday, Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, mentioned that they will be launching a satellite into space this week.

spaceX rocket with facebook satellite damaged

The satellite, aimed at enabling entrepreneurs in Africa sell ExpressWiFi and also, get more people online courtesy of it’s initiative, got damaged a few hours back during a pre-launch test at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

spaceX rocket with facebook satellite damaged

The rocket was scheduled to launch into space on the 3rd of September, 2016 thus, carrying Facebook’s first satellite into space. But during the set-up and testing process, according to SpaceX, an ‘anomaly’ occurred on the launch pad, and the rocket exploded.

SpaceX, via twitter, confirmed the report and also confirmed that there were no injuries.

Specifically, Facebook had planned to leave some of the bandwidth on the satellite, Amos 6, from its operator, the Israeli company SpaceCom, to beam internet to Sub-Saharan Africa which of course, included Nigeria.

spaceX rocket with facebook satellite damaged 2

Mark Zuckerberg, has however, also confirmed the report via his Facebook page, stating that the incident was deeply disappointing. He further stated that they remain committed to the mission of connecting everyone, and they will keep working until everyone has the opportunities the satellite would have provided.

According to TechCrunch, Facebook and France-based satellite provider, Eutelsat, had spent US$95 million to secure a five year lease on the satellite’s Ka-band communication array.

Sad, really sad. ?

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Samuel Adeniyi

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